French surfers dominate the 2010 Protest Vendee Pro

April 23, 2010 | Surfing

Marc Lacomare: he knew there was a photographer there...

Once again La Sauzaie tuned on great conditions for another full day of competition at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Protest Vendee Pro 4-Star men’s event. Inform surfers Marc Lacomare (FRA) and Glen Hall (IRL) will lead the charge in the quarter-finals when competition is set to resume at 10:00 local time.

3-4ft (1m) waves hit the peak at La Sauzaie for day 3 of competition. Knowing the break to perfection contest director Julien Hamel took full advantage of the waves on offer and knows that if there are waves at La Sauzaie you have to run as many heats as possible. Although an afternoon sea-breeze took the edge off the glassy conditions competitors were keen to keep going and run through to the end of round 4.

Marc Lacomare (FRA) had to fight all the way to make it through his 25-minute clash after receiving an early interference call. With the main peak so tight and compact a total of 14 interferences were called as surfers went all out for a stake of the US$ 85.000 prize money on offer.

The young Frenchman current equal European ratings leader along with Hall showed he has a mature head on his shoulders as he clawed his way back into the heat to eventually finish second behind Hall.

“I thought I couldn’t make it because the waves were very good at the start of the heat,” said Lacomare. “But then I got lucky because the tide dropped really fast so no one could get really big scores so I knew I only needed a 6 so I went big and I was lucky.”

“I tried to stay relaxed,” said Lacomare. “I knew I had to go for it and if I make it it’s a bonus and if not I know I have tried my hardest. I am at the top of the rankings with Glenn (Hall) but it is still early in the season and we will have to see what happens.”

Glen Hall (IRL) surfed strongly and scored two 8.5 rides out of a possible 10 in both his heats today. The highest single score of the event so far. With so many years of experience on the ASP tour Hall had very clear tactics when it came to his heat.

“I wanted to stay clear of the riffraff and not get in trouble but it’s a catch 22 situation because if you stay out of it too much you don’t get any waves. I just try and push the boundaries if I’m sure I’m in the right spot and if not I’d rather just let them have it. The last 5-minutes are another story if you need a score but.”

“I’ve had a couple of good heats but in one of them I was going left and wasn’t getting the scores so I tried to stick to the rights and see what I can do,” stated Hall. “It’s good to be in the man-on-man now out of all the hassles because it’s such a small peak for a 4-man heat.”

Defending Protest Vendee Pro title holder Joan Duru (FRA) also advanced this afternoon after having to survive a very tough round 3 clash earlier in the day. Splitting the peak with Eric Rebiere (FRA) Duru was able to get the score he needed and made sure he thanked Rebiere for his kind gesture.

“It was really hard out there and I needed one wave and Eric (Ribiere) left me the good one because he went left, so I am really happy that he did this so after I thanked him. He didn’t make it which is a little bit bad for the contest.”

“I hope so,” continued Duru on his chances of making it two in-a-row here at Vendee. “I really want to win because I did it last year and I would really like to do it again and the waves are really nice and there are some good waves to take.”

On his first visit to the Protest Vendee Pro Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) finds himself in the quarters after latching onto one of the best waves of the day and nailing it to receive a 7.67 out of a possible 10. Trailing from the start Palmboom kept clear of his fellow competitors and let the ocean decide if he was to advance or not.

“I ended up making the heat and I got one bomb out there that I was stoked about so it was a lot of fun. I definitely wanted to stay clear of all the interferences that were going on and just do my own thing and get through the heat.”

Frederic Robin (REU) also advanced in a tight heat overcoming former ASP “Dream tour” and former Protest Vendee Pro winner Tim Boal (FRA) to claim his spot behind Duru in heat nº2. Starting strongly and then getting a quick backup score Robin held onto the tiniest of margins to make it through. Feeling at home at La Sauzaie Robin is looking forward to the man-on-man format that will be used in the quarter-finals.

“I like the waves here and it is pretty cool here but the waves are so warm and I wore a 3/2 wetsuit which is perfect and I also have some good boards.”

“Man-on-man I like that because you can relax a little more and you just have to try and catch the good ones and stay relaxed. You don’t have to think about the other surfers it is only you and yourself.

Heat 1: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) Vs Frederic Robin (REU)
Heat 2: Alain Riou (PYF) Vs Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 3: Glen Hall (IRL) Vs Romain Laulhe (FRA)
Heat 4: Marc Lacomare (FRA) Vs Romain Cloitre (FRA)

Heat 1: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 13.17, Alain Riou (PYF) 11.67, Bobby Morris (USA) 11.43, Damien Chaudoy (REU) 5.12
Heat 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.96, Frederic Robin (REU) 13.76, Tim Boal (FRA) 11.77, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 8.83
Heat 3: Glen Hall (IRL) 14.83, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.57, Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) 8.33, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 3.16
Heat 4: Romain Cloitre (FRA) 10.93, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 10.00, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 7.87, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 6.40

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